LEH Physics at the Royal Society Student Conference 2019
  • Science
  • Senior
  • Sixth Form
  • STEM

On 19th November LEH’s Physics research team (Aria, Emma, Freya and Kiyani) attended the Royal Society Student Conference to display their project and meet other young scientists from around the UK. Our team consisted of UVI students who had completed CERN@school research in 2018/19.  Their project explored the radiation present in food using an MX-10 radiation detector and Pixelman software. The equipment was provided through LEH’s affiliation with the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS).

Two floors of the prestigious Royal Society building were buzzing with energy as the teams arrived to set up their displays. The variety of research that had been going on around the country was astounding and we were very proud to be part of such a thriving community.  The ways in which the research had been undertaken followed a range of different models. Some teams had worked on their own initiative to explore solutions to particular problems, such as the need for renewable energy – but many had collaborated with professional scientists. We learned that some schools had supported university academics via a Royal Society Partnership Grant and others had worked with university teams such as Queen Mary University of London. A few teams had worked with Astronomical Societies to support new research initiatives, and some had been funded by grants from the Nuffield foundation.

The range of research projects was huge - and inspiring. Among many other exhibits, we saw Badger Cams used to monitor wildlife, ultrasonic/haptic canes for the blind, fully immersive virtual reality headsets, and meteor trails being tracked with radio antennae. It was amazing, and gave us lots of ideas for the future.

The Keynote Speech was given by Cambridge Psychology Professor, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore – who discussed “The Adolescent Brain”.  The research teams then departed for the student only symposium to present their work, while the supporters, teachers and academics, remained in the lecture theatre to discuss STEM education in the UK, the future of Artificial Intelligence, the Nuffield Research Placement scheme, and the Maths4Girls initiative. After lunch and exploring the displays we enjoyed the Closing Speech by Theoretical Physics Professor Tom McLeish, who described his “Random Walk in Science.”

The Conference was an incredible opportunity to inspire and be inspired by the scientific work going on around the country.  It was a tremendously positive experience. We learned new things, made new friends, and saw new opportunities for the future.

Mr Brittain - STEM Co-ordinator and Physics Teacher